CRESTVIEW — On two 3-2 votes, the City Council has approved a .25 percent property tax increase and the same $29,110,313.35 city budget originally presented during a Sept. 5 budget workshop.
Council President Robyn Helt and Councilman Tom Gordon voted nay on both resolutions.
Councilman Shannon Hayes made the motions to adopt the tax increase and budget, which Councilman Joe Blocker seconded. Councilman Mickey Rytman also voted in favor of the resolutions.
During Tuesday’s budget hearing, Crestview resident Thomas Simms criticized the council for not addressing operational issues that led to the increased millage rate and for failing to curb personnel expenses, which account for 80 percent of the city's budget.
The adopted budget excludes personnel cuts, but does require every city employee to take 32 hours of unpaid furlough.
The budget will come before the council for a final vote Sept. 24 and will take effect with the new fiscal year Oct. 1.
See the full report in the Sept. 14, 2013 print edition.